Currently, about 50% of the cost of a domestic solar system is related to its installation. This means that installation costs could slow down individuals from going solar, even though solar energy has the potential to accelerate the energy transition.
BeON Energy decided to change the game. How? By creating a solar kit that can be installed as easily as a television or refrigerator. Simply plug it in so that it can convert solar energy into electricity, with the help of a microinverter, and power a home. That’s all it takes! It is easier and less expensive to install, and—the best part of all—it is a giant step forward in making solar energy more common in our homes!
"Thanks to the EDF Pulse start-up Awards, we now can access new markets."
Rui Beon - COO & co-fonder of BeON Energy
The project was a hit among the Jury, who awarded it second place on the 2019 EDF Pulse start-up Awards’ podium. BeON Energy is ready to launch on the French market with EDF if possible.
At first, the team consisted only of Rui, the inventor of the BeON solar kit, a serial entrepreneur with a PhD in electronics, and Jamie, the business specialist with 15 years of experience at Unilever. Since then, the team has grown to about twenty talents today. We are planning to add digital marketing, business, and blockchain experts very soon.
The idea came from the need to bring down costs dramatically when comparing with existing solar installations, so that people could produce energy at half price, compared to what they would otherwise purchase from their electric company. I wanted to democratise solar power and accelerate the mass adoption of domestic renewal energy generation. I noticed that the reliability of the products was not up to standard and that many of the complexities and cost of domestic solar were in the final step of connecting the system to household. I had a degree in electronics reliability and the idea that if we could connect to the socket we could save time and money. I invested the money I had made from a business in Portugal into developing a new product that was both reliable and simple. The insights were right and my innovation was quickly awarded the EDP innovation award and it started to snowball from there.
Any recent good news?
Apart from being listed as a finalist for the EDF awards, which was fantastic news, BeON has been shortlisted for a UK Energy Innovation Awards 2019 in the Customer Focus category! Great recognition that our plug inverter innovation has the customer at its heart! We also just installed our new energy management products in the first live location in a factory.
What is the most unexpected thing that your startup has made you do?
I found myself actually living in the factory and sleeping on a sofa for 6 months whilst we worked round the clock producing our first big orders and meet our first big rush in demand. At another occasion, I went to Rotterdam for a business meeting and ended up at the end of the night in a floating hot tub convincing my flat mate from 20 years ago to join our adventure. He is now captaining our overseas endeavours.
In what way does your project revolutionise your category?
To make solar energy available to everyone everywhere. Our unique pluginverter dramatically simplifies installation making it as simple as plugging in a TV. Once you join the prosumer community, we help you monitor, manage and sell your energy, reducing bills and your CO2 footprint.